New WB $300 million loan to support Moroccan municipalities’ performance, service delivery

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a $300 million loan (€271.8 million) to support the strengthening of Morocco’s municipalities, an objective that is part of the Kingdom’s broader efforts to upgrade urban services and turn urban conglomerations into engines of growth and job creation.

The Municipal Performance Project aims to build capacity by providing a sustainable, performance-based framework for municipalities to work with, the WB said in a press release.

“The program objective is to promote territorial development by strengthening Morocco’s municipalities,” said Jesko Henschel, the World Bank’s Maghreb Country Director. “The program will target key gaps in performance to promote a transparent, efficient, and accountable urban management system that can drive long-term local development and enhance Moroccan cities’ attractiveness.”

The Project will support Morocco’s Ministry of Interior to roll out an ambitious annual performance assessment of municipalities. This will provide real-time information on capacity gaps at the municipal level and address them through tailored technical assistance and training. In addition, it will offer municipalities performance-based grants to improve their management and service delivery.

As part of the program objectives, the Ministry of Interior will offer participating municipalities a toolkit which will help them equip themselves with the skills needed to boost their performance. The Ministry will also provide guidelines to improve management of investments and the maintenance of communal urban services.

“Municipalities are at the forefront of development; they articulate and embody interactions between citizens and their administration. Strengthening municipalities, financially and institutionally, is key to allowing them to fulfill their service provision mandate and promote trust among citizens in public administration,” said Augustin Maria, Senior Urban development specialist and co-Task team leader.

The project spans a five-year period from 2019 to 2024. It will target about 100 of Morocco’s largest municipalities that together account for 80 percent of the urban population and half of the total population of the country. The project will pay particular attention as to how women can benefit from the different activities, including to ensure women’s civic concerns are addressed, and to increase the participation of women in decision-making.

“Strengthening the role of municipalities is a key outcome of the current program. A better functioning of municipalities contributes to reducing social vulnerabilities by promoting an integrated urban management to bridge infrastructure gaps and provide efficient urban services especially for the most marginalized segments of the population.” said Kolie Ousmane, Senior Financial management special and co-Task team leader.

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